“STITCH WITH BILL – Day 2

Already day 2 – and we are working our way though the STITCHER’S TRIO Projects…. and we are 1 step closer to completing our STITCHER’S APRON…..

BILL LOCKE DESIGNS – “STITCHER’S TRIO APRON”

So this morning we’ve trimmed the panel – removing the extra backing fabric from both ends where we attached and secured the last 2 strips… we’ve trimmed the top and bottom of the panel where the selvedges are – and now we are ready to cut out the armhole portions of the apron.

So, to make the armholes, we can use the measurements given in this morning’s video and drawing an arc freehand or using another apron as a possible template. This could work if you do not have a printer to print out the following template. If you do have a printer, you can simply print out the template. Remember to measure the template once you print – the top/shorter straight edge should measure 6-1/2″.

BILL LOCKE DESIGNS – “STITCHER’S TRIO” armhole template for apron

Once you’ve cut the 2 armholes for the apron, the next step is to make the bias binding strips (remember cutting on the diagonal – not straight across the width of your fabric). But…before cutting your binding strips, because to cut a rectangle from the 2nd one yard backing piece that measures 20″ x 34-1/2″….this is the piece that we will need for the completion of our PROJECT PORTFOLIO. Put this aside for later.

For the binding, we you’ll need to make approx. 132″ of continuous binding. cut strips 2-1/4″, joing them together to make 1 piece of binding.

For the straps we need to cut from the backing fabric, the following lengths:

Three strips 2-1/2″ x 35″

One strip 2-1/2″ x 5″

We will work with these tomorrow.

I hope that you are all enjoying your projects…..I look forward to seeing you on FB LIVE tomorrow morning at 11:00 EST.

Happy Stitching!

Bill

“STITCHING WITH BILL”

WOW!!!!!! I have been going to sit and write this post all day – but it’s been such a crazy, hectic day – which of course is a good thing when this is your business….but…I just had to stop for a moment since I didn’t realize how late it was I am still working…it’s 9:51 p.m. on Monday evening…..I need to touch back on today’s tutorial before tomorrow’s session.

So, the FB LIVE this morning with the “STITCHER’S TRIO” Tutorial #1 was wonderful – a great attendance by so many of you – wonderful messages received after the tutorial….I am so excited to be able to share with you like this – and to have you participate in these projects with me.

I wanted to do the tutorial live for a couple of reason – but the main reason that I felt the live video was best was because of this…. so many of us are spending these days alone…many not able to see anyone – for this half hour or so this week….as we are all sharing in these projects, we are live….you are seeing me, I am seeing you all participate with your comments and message…we are a community sharing together and for that instant – we are not alone…and it remind us just that – that we all 1 big stitching family – and as the tutorial ends and you go back to your sewing room to work on your projects, think about that – and remember that well all be back together in the morning.

So, if you are seeing this post for the first time – and missed today’s tutorial…. you can still catch up by heading over to my Facebook page and checking it out. https://www.facebook.com/bill.locke.96

So….I hope that you’ve all had time to finish stitching your 2-1/2″ strips to your background/lining fabric.

I want to mention that once you have all 14 strips sewn down, you will have some area on both ends of the panel that will not have any of the 2-1/2″ strips.


Before moving any further in the project, I want you to hold the panel as if we were an apron – with the strips running vertically, and see if the 14 strips are going to be ok for the width of your apron. The extra on each side is a safeguard so that if you feel you need another stripe or 2 to make it a bit wider, this gives us that advantage to do that now.

If you do need to add a couple of strips, now is the time to add them before you move to the next step.

NEXT STEP!

With the 2-1/2″ strips all sewn in place and pressed open, the 2 outer strips are not stitched along one end. For these 2 strips, we want to stitch along that open edge, stitching the strips to the background fabric, using a scant or even 1/8″ stitch.

Stitch the outer edge of the last 2 strips added to your panel using a scant 1/4″ or 1/8″ seam allowance.

I want to give you a couple of more things to do but I think it would be best that we just leave it at this for this evening – and we can catch up again tomorrow at 11 a.m. where well continue to the next step – we are moving along quite quickly – with this panel almost complete – this is the base of all 3 projects – now it’s a matter of fun assembly – just want and see how much fun we are going to have!

Wishing you all a good night – we’ll see each other tomorrow in virtual class!

Happy Stitching!

“STITCHING WITH BILL” Material List for Mar 30th

Tomorrow, Monday, March 30th will be the first installment of our “STITCHER’S TRIO” Project.

The first of 5 fun stitching days!!!!!!

I want to remind everyone that tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EST (Montreal/New York), (10:00 Pacific, 2:30 Newfoundland), I will be doing a Facebook Live so discuss the beginning of the project and the first steps to mover forward in our fun creative projects.

Meanwhile, I wanted to take a few moments to give you the Material list of what you need to gather for the project; keeping in mind that we will be completing all 3 of the projects in this pattern; the apron, the travel project portfolio and the pin cushion.

The Material list will be giving the day prior to my next Facebook Live so that will have the necessary items ready for the next step in your project.

NOTE: If there is something that is being used that you do not have or cannot find; you can order any of the projects from the Studio.

A reminder that we are working out way though the complete STITCHER’S TRIO Pattern over the next 5 days. It may be possible that some of you may not have all of the materials that I have used for the completion of the projects, but that’s ok. We will do what we can each day; and the FB Live Videos will be uploaded and published each day to Facebook and YouTube so that you can go back and use them has a reference to completely any portion of the project that does not get completed during this week.

Of course, I am always just a message away to answer any of your questions and to provide direction.

MATERIAL LIST – Day 1

14 assorted/Coordinated 2-1/2″ strips + 2 yards of a coordinating fabric

* This is what we’ll be using all week to complete all 3 of our projects.

You will need your 24-1/2 ruler or other long ruler

Quilting pen/pencil

Pins

I’m going to be stitching along and making my STITCHER’S TRIO in the KEEPING YOU IN STITCHES JELLY ROLL!!!

“Keeping you in Stitches” Collection by Bill Locke for River’s Bend/Midwest

I’ve broken the projects this week into 5 sessions because I want to have smaller portions of homework for each day – so that everyone can work at a good comfort level; whether beginner, intermediate or advanced….and together we can all work on these fun projects and complete them by the end of the week.

I hope that you’ll join in on the fun….if you are working this week; it is because you are a part of our essential team and for that I do want to take this moment to say a heart felt thank you!

“STITCHING WITH BILL”

Beginning on Monday, March 30, 2020, I am offering a free, fun stitch-a-long featuring my pattern the “STITCHER’S TRIO”, that will offer 3 fun projects:

A STITCHER’S APRON
Travel Stitching Portfolio
Pin Cushion

I’ll be sharing FB LIVE videos to share tutorials as we work though the projects…..

WHEN:
Monday, March 30th to Friday, April 3rd.
LIVE VIDEO TIME: 1:00 p.m. EST (Montreal/New York)
(10:00 Pacific, 2:30 Newfoundland)

It’s a 5-day stitching party – let’s all have fun and create a gift for ourselves – what a wonderful way to share in some stitchy
isolation time.

NOTE: The pattern is not needed for these tutorials as I’ll be sharing everything with you as we work our way though the project. But, if Patterns are available for $12.00 should there be someone who would like to have a printed version.

FOR SHOPS!!!!
If you’d like to carry BILL LOCKE DESIGNS Patterns in your shop, please message me: billlocke@billlockedesigns.com

Island Batik’s “BEAT THE HEAT” Blog Hop

It’s been quite hot here in Montreal these past days and weeks….but the heat of Summer is going farther than the Sun this month – because across the miles and over the big pond, Island Batik Ambassadors whipping up fun projects in new Island Batik Collections in order to showcase these fabulous new fabrics to you in the exciting BEAT THE HEAT Blog Hop.

https://www.islandbatik.com/beat-the-heat-blog-hop/?fbclid=IwAR0oK1AhUFQH2eePt6jMn9HuBvEFotmXNYzRWDV9Zv1sTS1c_FLg95dXKtI

Be sure to hope over to Island Batik and check out the schedule of the upcoming collections, and get a chance to win some wonderful fabric for your own stitching…how great is that! Just click the link above!!!!!

The collection that I had the privilege of playing with for the Blog Hop was CLOCKWORKS by Kathy Engle. Anyone who knows my favorite color story will know that this collection really spoke to me because when it comes to earthy colors…I’m all over it – and let’s just say YUMMY!!!!!! I knew that I was going to have fun with these.

CLOCKWORKS by Kathy Engle for ISLAND BATIK

I played with many an idea; new designs, older ideas….but in the end, I felt that the fabrics were so beautiful – that I really wanted to do something that I loved that would showcase each of the fabrics in the collection. I therefore opted for my favorite quilt pattern of all time..the Log Cabin.

CLOCKWORKS Log Cabin Quilt by Bill Locke, 46″ x 58″

Having had to deal with a broken finger of the last weeks – and still dealing with limited use of the finger; this was the first project that I’ve stitched since that time. But, for the log cabin blocks, I cut 2-1/2″ strips….and guess what…Accuquilt has the perfect die for that with the ACCUQILT GO CUTTER….cut all of your strips quickly and perfectly…and have even more time to quilt. Thank you Accuquilt!!!!!!

As you can see in the quilt, there’s a row of assorted blocks at the top and bottom of the quilt. While making this project to be a nice lap/throw size, I wanted the quilt to be rectangular but I wanted to showcase the center design that I created with the 16 log cabin blocks. Once my blocks were complete, I used all of the remaining fabrics from the collection and created this top and bottom border which I felt brought that extra burst of CLOCKWORKS to this project.

NOTE: All borders and sashing strips are cut 3-1/2″ wide. The assorted blocks at the bottom are 3-1/2″ squares.

For the batting, I’ve selected HOBBS HEIRLOOM NATURAL Cotton Batting…. Thanks HOBBS!!!!

This has been a really fun project and it was so exciting to be a part of ISLAND BATIK’s BEAT THE HEAT BLOG HOP…..

Thank you to ISLAND BATIK, ACCUQUILT and HOBBS BATTING for all of the products used in this creation.

HAPPY STITCHING EVERYONE!!!!! And let’s BEAT THE HEAT!!!!!!!!!!

Island Batik & AccuQuilt Ready. Set. GO! Baby Quilt Challenge

As an Island Batik Ambassador, this month’s challenge was to use my AccuQuilt GO! Machine and dies to make a fun baby quilt that features Island Batik fabrics; and let me tell you – what a fun project this has been.

The Island Batik Ambassador Challenge for April 2019

As I was getting ready earlier this month to place a new design for my monthly challenge, the idea of child’s quilt bring many different mental images of various designs and themes but I wanted to take this challenge a little outside the design box and do it a little differently….. and well….I was thinking, who says that a baby quilt has to be rectangle or square….it can be any fun shape right? Well…the challenge this month was that the baby quilt needed to be 40″ to 48″ “SQUARE”….but in the excitement of working with this stunning fabrics and this magnificent AccuQuilt Cutter, I just missed the word SQUARE altogether – and well, the result is in another geometric chapter! 🙂

A lot of my customers are so into the QUILT-AS-YOU-GO type projects; and just as excited about SCRAPPY PROJECT that I wanted these 2 feature to be focused in this month’s challenge project.

Introducing:

“RING AROUND THE HEXAGON”

“RING AROUND THE HEXAGON” Baby Quilt/Play Mat, 40″ diameter

This whole project started with a simple 5-1/2″ cut hexagon that I wanted to use for a focus center in my quilt…..and from there, the rest is history.

The starting point to this fun creation was to cut a piece of HOBBS HEIRLOOM PREMIUM COTTON BATTING. Hobbs supplied us with a group of battings for our projects; this one is from the CRIB SIZE 45″ x 60″ which was perfect for this project. I was aiming for a 40″ finished project.

I cut my batting to be 45″ square, found the center point and drew the 5-1/2″ Hexagon as my jumping off point for the quilt. Since this is a QUILT-AS-YOU-GO project, I also cut a piece of backing fabric the same size. The Backing fabric was laid on my work table wrong side up with the batting on top.

I then pinned my center Hexagon in place.

With the center Hexagon anchored, I had fun with the AccuQuilt cutter. I knew that I really wanted to focus on one particular die this month – the 2-/2″ width strip cutter….it’s just the cat’s meow and I love it so much….so it makes sense that my first AccuQuilt project would feature this die. Cutting the 2-1/2″ strips for this project was amazing…everything was cut and complete in around 10 minutes….how awesome is that…and without any extra laying out of fabrics, etc. I could easily layer my fabrics, and cut them so quickly.

I could have just keep on stripping…. (cutting strips 🙂 ) but I knew that I had plenty for this project. What a super way of using up some of those smaller pieces because the strips used closer to the center of the quilt are quite short compared to the ones used near the outside.

An assortment of 2-1/2″ strips cut with my AccuQuilt Go! Cutter…… a varied assortment that will marry together so well for a fun blend of colors and prints; what baby wouldn’t look even more cute wrapped up in these?

With the fun 2-1/2″ strips at my disposal, the fun part of selected each of the strips to sew around this Hexagon project had just begun. Strips were added 1 at a time, in a quilt as you go method; until I achieved the desired size of my baby quilt; which would mean adding 9 rows of strips around the center hexagon.

Adding the 2-1/2″ strips one at a time……watching this fun RING AROUND THE HEXAGON take shape.

And here it is….. “RING AROUND THE HEXAGON”

“RING AROUND THE HEXAGON”

Size: 40″ diameter

I would like to just take a moment to thank ISLAND BATIK for supplying all of these wonderful fabrics for our creative projects; to AccuQuilt for supplying the wonderful GO! Cutter which made this and will make so many more projects so much more enjoyable to create, and to HOBBS for their gift of fabric batting that gives this project such a wonderful handfeel.

To see more wonderful fabrics, projects, products… perhaps start by checking out the sponsor’s Facebook pages…. there’s so much to see there….. see what other Ambassador’s are creating and get inspired to stitch!

https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik/

https://www.facebook.com/accuquilt/

https://www.facebook.com/HobbsBattingOfficial/

Have a very blessed and stitchy kind of day!

Bill

“VINTAGE REIMAGINED” with Island Batiks

As an ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR, this month’s challenge was to creative a project under the topic if “VINTAGE REIMAGINED”.

As a traditional quilter, I have always loved the idea of trying to use my Island Batiks in a traditional way to bring a kind of new look to traditional projects. With “VINTAGE REIMAGINED”, it was the perfect time to do that once again.

When I first sat to think about what I’d like to do for this month’s challenge, my first idea was to center the project around a star. I thought about doing something along the lines of a crazy quilt; I considered another Quilt-As-You-Go method quilt….but in the end, the star won.

I would like to mention that the beautiful fabrics used in this project were given to me by Island Batik; batting provided by Hobbs Batting.

A couple of years ago I designed a fun star themed table topper with 4 large star blocks with sashings and a border…. I entitled that project “DINING WITH THE STARS”. For this months ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADOR project, I’ve taken one of those start blocks; changed it up a little – and creating a single star table topper entitled “A STAR IS BORN”. Measuring 36″ x 36″, it is the prefect size to fit the 36×36 required size for this month’s challenge.

The quilt top is one that you can make up in a couple of hours…perfect for when you want to start/finish/enjoy a project the same day.

OH….and I know it’s March and Spring…. but for this project, I’ve decided that I’m going to get a head start on another fun Fall display project for my home.

“A STAR IS BORN” started with a center 8″ block……and there are 8 blocks surrounding that center block that also measure 8″. 4 of those blocks were snowballed with 4-1/4″ squares to coordinate with the center.

Snowball blocks are trimmed 1/4″ outside of the stitched line; triangle is this flipped towards the outside corner and pressed

The snowballed squares became the points of my star.

4 snowballed blocks for the star points

Stitching the 9 blocks together to make the center star is always fun. I love stars in my projects; and this one is no different. Working with the larger pieces also makes this project go together much faster.

When stitching together the star block, I stitch the blocks together in 3 rows, then join the rows. The seams in the first and third rows are pressed towards the outside blocks; the seams in the center row are pressed towards the center. Pressing the seams alternately allows you to really lock those seams when stitching your rows together.

9 blocks make up the center star

Note: When pinning your rows together, match seams well…and pin just before the seam so that your needle will arrive at the pin before the seam. The pin will anchor the seams as the foot moves towards the seam.

Completed center star block

With the center star block complete, I decided to add a smaller sashing, using 2-1/2″ width strips and corner squares. Corner squares are cut from the same fabric as my outer border.

I finished with a 5″ border – but of course, to make this project a little bigger, simpler make the sashing and border wider.

“A STAR IS BORN” Table Topper, 36″ x 36″


This project will be completed using my HOBBS Heirloom Cotton Batting; the Crib Size format. Hobbs batting is the prefect batting for my projects. I love the feel of my project once it has been quited; the handfeel is just the weight that I love to achieve.

Hobbs Cotton Batting, Crib size

With the quilt top complete, it is now getting ready to travel to Western Canada where my long arm quilter will work her magic to breathe even more life into this project; then it’s back to Montreal so that I can add the binding and put it aside in anticipation of finding a special spot to display it in my home this Fall.

Please take time to visit the Island Batik and discover more about what’s happening in their batik world; check out the wonderful creations by so many wonderful Island Batik Ambassadors; and get inspired by all of the fun designs and colors brought to us by Island Batik.

Website: http://www.islandbatik.com

Blog: http://www.islandbatik.com/news

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/islandbatik

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/islandbatik

Instagram: http://instagram.com/island_batik

MAGNIFICENT MINIS!!!!!!!

February 1st marked a new fun time in my quilting…since it was the start of my ISLAND BATIK AMBASSADORSHIP 2019.

Many of you watched the unveiling video where I shared so many wonderful things that were sent to the Ambassadors this year to use in the creation of wonderful, fun projects to showcase the ISLAND BATIK Fabric, HOBBS Batting, AURIFIL Thread and as well the ACCUQUILT Go Cutter.

For February, the challenge for all Ambassadors was to create a “MAGNIFICENT MINI”.

In 2012, I designed a pattern for a “VINTAGE MINI RUNNER” but have put it aside to recreate in a different style/theme at a later date; I knew that when I started to work on my “Magnificent Mini”, my mini runner was going to be the base on this project.

I love taking the more modern batik prints and introducing them to a more traditional approach of quilting. This new version of the “VINTAGE MINI RUNNER” is an extension of that idea. Measuring just 10″ x 23″, it is the prefect size for a fun afternoon project; and definitely an adorable “Magnificent Mini”. For this project, I dug into my delicious Island Batik stash to find a mix of cream background strips for my base; and then from my new Ambassador Box, I found these special prints for my appliques and binding. The prints all beautiful but I especially love the one that I found for the flower basket binding – One 5″ stripe was enough to complete this part of the project.


The “Vintage Mini Runner” is made up of an assortment of 1-1/2″ strips that I used to prepare the base of my project in a QUILT-AS-YOU-GO (QAYG) Method. The QAYG method is a wonderful way to complete a project more quickly and easily since the project is quilted once you finish the runner top.

Project features the QUILT-AS-YOU-GO Method

The applique technique that I used is one that I call “APPLI-SIMPLE” where the appique pieces are backed with a very light-weight interfacing. In additional to using the “APPLI-SIMPLE” method, I’ve also done this project in a 3-D effect with the petals of the flowers having some depth in the applique process. The Appliques were completed by hand.

Appique the “APPLI-SIMPLE” way by BILL LOCKE DESIGNS

Learn more about my “APPLI-SIMPLE” technique here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAGBygBkzc8&t=39s

The batting used in this project is the HOBBS CHIEIRLOOM PREMIUM Cotton Batting, 80/20 Cotton/Poly. This batting has the perfect weight and drape quality that I enjoy for my table runner and other simpler projects.

I’ve had a lot of fun with this project; and am already thinking about the March project for our Ambassadorship……. be sure to subscribe to my blog; and remember your comments are very welcome.

Happy Stitching!!!!!!!!

Please check in at the be sure to check out the other Magnificent Minis from all of the Island Batik Ambassadors

Carolina Asmussen ~Carolina Asmussen

Gene Black ~ Gene Black

Pamela Boatright ~ Pamela Quilts

Connie K Campbell ~ Freemotion by the River

Anja Clyke ~ Anja Quilts

Tina Dillard ~ Quilting Affection Designs

Becca Fenstermaker ~Pretty Piney

Jennifer Fulton ~ Inquiring Quilter

Barbara Gaddy ~ Bejeweled Quilts by Barb

Dione Gardner-Stephen ~ Clever Chameleon

Sarah Goer ~ Sarah Goer Quilts

Vasudha Govindan ~ Storied Quilts

Lori Haase ~ Dakota City Quilter II

Joanne Hart ~ Unicornharts

Mania (Magdalini) Hatziioannidi ~ Mania for Quilts

Carla Henton ~ Create in the Sticks

Stephanie Jacobson ~ Steph Jacobson Designs

Connie Kauffman ~ Kauffman Designs

Joan Kawano ~ Moosestash Quilting

Kim Lapacek ~ Persimon Dreams

Emily Leachman ~ The Darling Dogwood

Leanne Parsons ~ Devoted Quilter

Bea Lee ~ BeaQuilter

Toby Lischko ~ Gateway Quilts & Stuff

Bill Locke ~ Studio Bill Locke

Denise Looney ~ For the Love of Geese

Leah Malasky ~ Quilted Delights

Sally Manke ~ Sally Manke

Maryellen McAuliffe ~ Mary Mack’s Blog

Kathleen McCormick ~ KathleenMcCormick

Carol Moellers ~ Carol Moellers Designs

Karen Neary ~ Sew Karen-ly Created

Jackie O’Brien ~ If These Threads Could Talk

Laura Piland ~ Slice of Pi Quilts

Michelle Roberts ~ Creative Blonde

Vicki Schlimmer ~ Vicki’s Crafts and Quilting

Gail Sheppard ~ Quilting Gail

Sherry Shish ~ Powered by Quilting

Anita Skjellanger , Quilt in a not-Shell

Laticia “Tish” Stemple ~ Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland

Jennifer Strauser ~ Dizzy Quilter

Jennifer Thomas ~ Curlicue Creations

Terri Vanden Bosch ~ Lizard Creek Quilts

Alison Vermilya ~ Little Bunny Quilts

Sandra Walker ~ mmm! quilts

Suzy Webster ~ Adventerous Applique and Quilting

(Debora) Anne Weins ~ Sweetgrass Creative Designs

Geraldine Wilkins ~ Living Water Quilter

Janet Yamamoto ~ Whispers of Yore

Studio updates!!!!!! It’s been a too long since the last post!!!

Hi everyone,

Time just flies by so quickly – and it’s been way too long since the last blog.

I thought that this evening I’d take a few moments to just touch base to say Hi and to let you know how things are going.

Well, the Studio move was a wonderful thing for me…and I find that since the move there’s a whole sense of new direction and organization – putting into practice some of those things that I’ve been wanting to as a part of the new restructured Studio.    The Studio has been crazy busy and growing; it’s so exciting to add new customers to the base…Welcome to the Studio!!!!

I am working hard to find new goodies to keep everyone in stitches!!!    There were some new items that were ordered at the Quilt Market in Portland in May that haven’t yet arrived..so there’s new goodies in our future :-).   Actually, there’s a new order of Batiks that is scheduled to arrive at the Studio this week along with some new regular quilting cottons.    I just received word that a couple of new collections that I had on order has just arrived at the warehouse so those are expected to arrive at the Studio next week.  I’ll be sharing these new fabrics with you as they arrive.

These’s also a wonderful collection of stunning homespun cottons…..YUMMY!!!!!

I am also working towards getting ready for the Houston Quilt Market in November….there’s still so much to do to get ready – it will be a busy next couple of months getting the new projects completed, patterns written and preparing for the Schoolhouse series there.

The Toscana Club was launched on July 1st.  If you haven’t heard about it, just click on the WHAT’S NEW logo at the top and you’ll find all the details there.   If there’s anyone who would like to join, you can still do so – past club installments can be had along with the next current month….  the next installment will be ready to send by August 1st.

The big news this week is that I am finally taking some time each day to start getting the products listed in the web store.   If you go to the shop on the website and scroll through the different departments, you’ll now notice that the web store is not as empty as it was….of course, based on what needs to be added vs what is already there. there’s still just a little..but I will be working hard to keep added stock – so be sure to check back often.  In many cases the products are ongoing…in other cases the stock is limited to want is currently available.  The beauty about the web store is that when stock is low, you will see it on the site.   In cases where the stock is constantly being renewed, even when the stock fall to zero, you can still place an order because it will be filled as soon as the next stock arrives.

The biggest thing that we need to remember about the web store is that when you check out, you’ll get the total for your order with tax.    The postage for your order will not be calculated by an online calculator.  I’ve decided to dismantle the shipping charts on the web store because I find that most of the time, the calculator overcharges for shipping.   Since my goal over the years as been to always find the cheapest postage possible for my customers; I feel that the best senario is to wait til the order is filled to reconfirm the postage.   I will then invoice and get iin touch as I’ve always done; and payments can be made the way that you’ve always made them; whether it’s an invoice through paypal, and etransfer, check or credit card.   I am doing what I can to keep everything as simplified as possible.

I want to thank all of you for our continued support and your patience as I work to get the website up to date.   Once it is fully stocked and running, you’ll be able to sit at home and brown the web store to see all of the wonderful goodies at the Studio.

Meanwhile, of course, you’ll still want to keep following and watching my Facebook..because there will always be fun announcements there.

Thanks again everyone,

Quilty hugs across the miles!

Bill

 

DRUM ROLL!!!!! And the new Studio is launched……….read all about it!!! :-) Good-bye Westmount!!!    Hello Lasalle!!!!!

Well, Here I am; finally ready to share with you all of what has been in the planning stages these last few months; and what has now materialized in the new STUDIO BILL LOCKE – My New Creative Space.

Since 2011, the steady increase of online followers have been overwhelming and so exciting. In April of 2017 I thought that getting back to having a full time retail outlet where local customers could shop would be a plus;  hence the move to the Ste. Catherine Street location. This was a trial move because I needed to test the water before wading too deep. 🙂  

During the last year, the online customer base has been steadily increasing; but the interest from the local market remained quite low; with the online clientele making up about 95+ percent of my customer base….so a couple of months ago I decided to to put plan B into motion – and here I am!!!   I will make mention that over the last few months, the majority of my local customers who order regularly from the Studio have opted to mail order as well since it’s easier and less expensive to have orders mailed out than to have to travel into the city to pick it up; which in fact increases the online clientele even more.

The great news is that January, February, March of 2018 have been the best Jan/Feb/March quarter in the history of the Studio – and for that I say A BIG THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.  You are the ones that make this possible for me each day;  to do what I love and to bring fun and creativity to so many through the STUDIO BILL LOCKE.

I am very excited about the changes that have been slowly taking place over the last couple of months behind the scenes,  and how everything is falling into place with regards to the new business plan. The coming months are going to be exciting and very creative with all that I am planning to bring to you.

I wanted to wait til now to do the official announcement because it was important that I get the news out to everyone at the same time rather than to one customer at a time. I also wanted the official announcement to come though my Blog since the blog is associated with the new website.

I haven’t been blogging in ages; and the new website has been in the work for quite some time..but, both of these tools are now becoming an important part of the new Studio.

With regards to the website, it will take a little time but all new products will be listed in the web store so that you can easily see as much as possible from the comfort of your home. The thing that has taken the most time is working out the shipping calculator.  You see, many online sites use automated calculators that I find often charge more than actual shipping for orders. I want to have the same, exact/low shipping costs that I have become known for – no extras. In order to do this we have deactivated the shipping calculator…you can still shop, fill your cart and sent it in – it will give you the total with tax; but will not included shipping costs. Once I receive and prepare your order, I will calculate the “exact shipping/postage” and then get in touch with regards to payment as I always have done. Payments can still be made by etransfer, Paypal or Credit Card (Visa/Mastercard).

I will be aiming at doing a new Blog Post every week….a great way to showcase a new products, a new event, and upcoming announcements, etc. This will be my new way of sharing with all of you more often.

Keep following on Facebook..because there will be special announcements; special deals…  I’ll use my FB page to keep you on top of things more quickly.  There, you’ll see announcements of new products, links to new posts, etc.  I will be sure that you hear about everything as soon as possible. 🙂

Now, in case you haven’t already guessed it, I will have decided to make the new STUDIO BILL LOCKE a online studio only….but with a couple of twists that will especially be of interest to my local customers.

I would like to share with you what the new Studio will include….I am so excited about this new adventure…and I can’t wait to share it all with you and grow in this new space with each of you.

OH…I must tell you….the new Studio has found it’s roots in my home…..and I am thrilled because it makes things so much simpler.  I love being able to get up in the a.m., take a shower, get dressed, take my coffee and just simply walk 1/2 minute to work :-).   This past year, my sewing/creative studio and office were in my home but the Retail Studio was across town.  Now, all of this is under the same roof and I couldn’t be happier.   This move will allow me a more flexible schedule to run my business since my customers are covered by so many different time zones.

With new customers coming on board on the other size of the pond,….  when I am having my morning coffee, you’ve already gone though most of your day and your messages can now get responded to more quickly.

For customers on the West Coast….. as I am winding down my day in the evening, you’re just getting home and doing your shopping…so having everything at my fingertips will allow me to function so much more easily to serve you even better.

I have always prided myself on great customer service; and for me, it’s always much more than just making a sale; it’s finding the exciting products that are going to make us all scream with joy; it’s the personal touch that I am able to have with all of you – because you’ve become my friends; you are not just my customers.   There’s a relationship that we build; a special bond…and I enjoy that personal touch that we develop though our messages.

So the new STUDIO BILL LOCKE is online only – what does that mean?
All orders for the new Studio will be online orders only; but orders can be placed in 2 ways. Eventually, once the new web store is stocked, you can place your orders on line, or you can also leave comments on any Facebook post or simply email me…..any of these methods can be used to order from the Studio. The biggest change will be for local customers in that it won’t be possible for you to simply drop into the Studio to pick up your orders. All orders will be mail order. Note: there can be some exceptions where some customers will need to pick something up..this can be done by appointment only – BUT…this is simply an exeception and not a rule; since the goal is to work towards just online/mail out orders.

“STUDIO POP-UP SHOP”
Umm..what’s this? Well, this is a great way for local quilters to see more product and shop in person. Your guild can book a pop-up shop for any meeting or event; no engagement fee. I will arrive before the meeting begins to set up the STUDIO POP UP SHOP; sharing lots of fun goodies with your members; fabrics, patterns, notions, introduce new items/demos…..and your members will enjoy the opportunity of shopping on the spot. Any  orders for out of stock items that are taken at the guild meeting will be delivered back to the guild for distribution.

C. Classes, Workshops, Trunk Shows….
Yes, all of the above!!! 🙂 With the new Studio, time will be available to be on the road to participate in more events.
This past year I had to decline several invitations for events because of my responsibility with the brick and mortar shop. Going forward, the new schedule will allow for more time away from the Studio to be able to participate in these fun events.

D. DESIGN TIME!!!!  Quilt Markets and Quilt Shows!
One of the most important things that I’ve wanted to get back on my agenda is my own design time. I have so many fun designs and projects that need to get completed so that I can share then with you. This means new, fun BILL LOCKE DESIGNS in both wool and cotton…so look for new designs to start coming your way by this Fall. The new design time allows more time to accept design engagements with other companies in your quilting industry.  Just for the record, a fun design will be released at The International Quilt Market in Houston with ISLAND BATIK; my third season designing with them; I am currently working on a new design for VALDANI THREADS to be displayed next month at the International Quilt Market in Portland; and there are other, fun new prospects in the works.   This past year has been an exciting year with BILL LOCKE DESIGNS Pattern launches in two NANCY’S NOTIONS Catalogs as well as a fun collaboration with a new design for a CONNECTING THREADS Fabric collection/Catalog; and several fun designs to showcase fabric collections  for P&B TEXTILES and WASHINGTON STREET STUDIO.  This new Studio concept will allow the opportunity to increase my design time and to get back to that part of the business that I love so much.

STUDIO BILL LOCKE is expected to be back in Houston, TX in November with it’s own booth once again at the International Quilt Market.  I make an effort to attend at least 1 International Quilt Market each year. I would like to visit more….the more I get to market and trade shows the more fun I can share with you. It is also important that STUDIO BILL LOCKE get back to market with it’s own booth showcasing fun designs for my wholesale customers.  I would also like to be present as a vendor at local and out of town quilt shows.

 

So…..there’s lots and lots of changes but they are exciting developments; things that will allow the Studio to grow and prosper; but also changes that will help me give you even better customer service; as I said, I think it’s been pretty good so far :-)…but I want to make it even better.

I appreciate each and everyone one of you that continue to show your support to the me and the Studio…as I have said so often, without you I wouldn’t be able to do what I love each and every day…I am truly blessed and and truly thankful for your support.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send them along to billlocke@billlockedesigns.com

Thank you again and wishing you all a wonderful and blessed day!

Happy Stitching,

Bill